Posted: Jul 03, 2014 7:49 am
by Jayjay4547
theropod wrote:Dogs (hereafter referencing domesticated canines) usually don't attack humans with the intent to eat the human, and I've seen dogs that a stick would be a useless defensive tool had they attacked, sharpened or not. I've seen a full grown male Rottweiler snap a hardened rock maple pool stick in two, which could just as easily be ones arm. Poke a dog like that with your rock-rubbed-sharpened stick and he'll rip you to bits. Large predatory canines, like wolves, often run in packs, and the wild African dog uses sustained chase tactics along with other pack strategies/tactics.

Speaking of fierce dogs, police dogs are fierce aren’t they? OK here's a picture of a crowd of miners, shortly before a police action in which a number of them were shot dead (Marikana massacre). The police have been criticized for not using better crowd control methods. Well in this pic, there are no police dogs used for crowd control. So far as I can recall, police dogs are not used to control a crowd armed with sticks, they are too much at risk. Sticks in the hands of a homin are significant.

theropod wrote:Dogs do not have paws with deadly scythe-like claws terminating each foot, and nor do they have the ambush fleetness of foot (sudden acceleration) often associated with large cats. If a large cat wants a hominid and the hominid has ONLY got a stick, a rock that hominid is leopard turds about 2 days later. Give a GROUP of hominids a few sticks and rocks with the courage to stand their ground, and eventually learn that flaked stone is horrible sharp, and these tools start to get serious, and the prey can then become the predator. I wouldn't want to go one on one with a full grown, wild and ravenous male leopard if I had a katana and body armor! Wanna talk about tigers? Sheese! Your survey stick would be a mere inconvenience to a big cat that wanted you for dinner. Cali has linked to the video of the lion not giving a shit about large bore rifles shooting the piss out of it and it STILL attacking with spreed and strength beyond belief. A single man would have probably ended up dead in that setting unless he made one hella well placed shot quickly enough. How the fuck can you still talk about fucking sticks and rocks after seeing something like that?

A sharpened stick would have been more effective in stopping that lion than a hunting rifle was. Maasai warriors hunt lions admittedly using iron spears- but against surrounded lions who know they have to break out. All this talking up of how overmastering felid predators are to the extent of citing tigers (none in Africa) it all ignores the fact that the australopiths did live in the larder of up to 8 possible predator species, like all animals their size they must have been preyed on and they must have had predator avoidance rule book that worked partially. And the state of play among African mammal species was about as high as it is today.

theropod wrote:Dogs are a very poor example to use in comparison with large cats as potential predators for many reasons, and defensive tactics and "tools" that works against one might not work against the other, if at all against either.

There is a shared general principle- that a proffered defense needs to be outflanked, it’s dangerous to power over it. There is a defensive function of some “stoipper” objects that isn’t just a flip side of hunting. For example the pom pom crab’s anemones. This function has the potential to affect physiology- for example of the pom pom crab.

theropod wrote:You have never really addressed the united front defensive strategy, which is seen over and over in nature. This includes all hominids except the orangutang, of which we are aware. Orangutang stay so high up in the rainforest canopy they effectively evolved the lack of need for a social setting that offers protection by numbers. While lush the rain forest is sometimes sparse in resources and a social group would be hard pressed to stay fed. Social groupings are common in primates, both in new and old world monkeys, and most lemurs. It seems to me that the selected trait of social dependence works for critters as threatening as Meir Cats, which don't have a single clue about sticks or rocks as weapons. It doesn't matter if one Meir Cat is taken as long as the group survives, since evolution is a population driven phenomena the death of an individual isn't an extinction event. It doesn't really matter if one hominid dies as the result of a large cat attack if the group gets away and makes more babies.

Numbers don’t count. Numbers of sticks and stones held by resolute and adept bipeds is what counts.
theropod wrote: If you've ever been shooting game birds with a shotgun and a group of birds rise together it becomes much harder to focus on a single bird and make a shot. Imagine a bunch of early hominids jumping and yelling and running adding to the clutter of a hunt, like quail crossing paths and doing aerobatics. This alone could have occasionally diffused large cat attacks IF the hominids had effective scouting and lookouts. A surprise attack from close range could still happen, and perhaps a strong group of early hominids stick-whacking at the beast would be driven off, but any single prey individual wouldn't stand a chance. It's the group, not the tools, that makes the difference.

Hominids jumping and yelling with sticks and stones, swiftly gathering, that’s the sort of critter we can realistically visualize them as being.
theropod wrote: JayJay, it's not that what you say couldn't have possibly been the way things were, but without some evidence you have no more than a hypothesis. There are sound arguments, and more importantly rebuttals supported by evidence, in opposition to your position. The likelihood that simple sticks and thrown rocks offered an effective defense against large cat attack is unsupported, and frankly silly. Robert Byers seems to think that jingling car keys would frighten away a hungry polar bear too. See the connection?

I wouldn’t agree with anyone that less than a credible threat of deadly force, repeatedly demonstrated thousands of times, between species that were perfectly familiar with each other, would model the australopith ecology.

What is frankly silly is all these nonsense videos about tigers, elephantrs and rhinos, in place of sensible discussion of the predicament of 1.4m bipedal arch-footed australopiths living in the African savannah.

theropod wrote: If defensive tool use emerged in hominids a little farther back in time than we now think how does this provide evidence for a god in any way?

If such a slight adjustment is all that is at stake, why all the hysterical abuse, why all the Siberian Tigers, canned hunts and elephant safaris? What is at stake is an established human origin narrative where nothing was done to our ancestors. They weren’t created by anything. Our ancestors made tools, the tools didn’t make our ancestors. In that case we were created by “a process” and that process is “evolution”. There is no attributal agency. That doesn’t prove there is no god, rather it denies a place where the greatness and the mystery associated with God could exist. That’s how I see atheist ideology working to mold the human origin narrative. The opposite narrative doesn’t provide evidence for a god, except if we see God as the generalization of our relationships with the world.

Another way of describing the atheist narrative is that it is relationship free. The only relationships that count in it, are those within the envisaged primate troop: all the rest is the unfamiliar foreign. The predators are terrifying, unmanageable things that might still be chased away by throwing stones and screaming at them.